Depression in perimenopausal women
If you are a perimenopausal woman, it’s important to know that depression is part of the process.
Depression is a strong feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities normally enjoyed by an individual.
The most common mood disorder among women is major depressive disorder (MDD). It affects approximately 18.8 million American adults aged 18 or older in a given year, or about 8.7% of the U.S. population, making it one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States.
In MDD, there are two distinct phases: a depressed phase and a remission phase. The depressed phase is marked by low moods, low energy levels, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, changes in concentration and focus, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, difficulty thinking or making decisions and suicidal ideation (thoughts). The remission phase is marked by an absence of symptoms of depression (thoughts).
The perimenopause period starts with irregular periods usually around age 40 and ends with menopause which usually occurs around age 50.
Symptoms experienced by perimenopausal women include hot flashes, sleep disturbances, irritability, mood swings and anxiety. Around 10 percent of women experience some form of clinical depression after menopause.